Signature Foundation presents the 2011 Senator Paul Simon Award to Helmets First!
For immediate release (November 2011)
Contact: Beth Schlueter,
Company Name: Signature Healthcare Foundation
Signature Healthcare Foundation presents the 2011 Senator Paul Simon Award to Helmets First!
Beth Schlueter, Executive Director of the Signature Healthcare Foundation
with Joseph Cangas, MD, President and Founder of HELMETS FIRST.
St. Louis, November 2011 The Signature Healthcare Foundation is
pleased to announce the presentation of the 2011 Senator Paul Simon Award to Helmets
First! for their work distributing more than 10,000 bicycle helmets. Joseph E. Cangus,
MD, founder of Helmets First! accepted the $4,000 award at a special presentation
at Signature’s 9th Annual Health Policy Forum, held on Friday, October 7.
Statistics from the Children’s Safety Network show that from 1999-2002, the average
annual cost of bicycle fatalities in children and youth was $1.03 billion. During
the same period, cost of nonfatal bicycle injuries was $3.6 billion. According the
Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 91% of bicyclists killed in 2009 were not
wearing helmets. Helmet use reduced head injury risk by 86%.
According to Jan Vest, Vice President of the Signature Healthcare Foundation Board,
“The Signature Healthcare Foundation is pleased to be able to support the great
work done by Helmets First! to protect our youth and adults alike.”
Helmets First! was started in 2005, with the goal of educating both children and
parents on the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet, as well as providing free
helmets for children who need them. The mission: To promote the health and safety
of children by providing helmets and helmet education, as well as rewarding those
who wear a helmet, so that they may grow to be healthy, productive members of society.
The program has three ‘tiers’:
- Educational opportunities: school/club presentations, bicycle rodeos, and a current
goal of producing a helmet and bicycle safety video, as well as an educational and
- Free bicycle helmets for children who need them. This is done by fundraising, donations,
and grants. Helmets are also offered at cost to groups who intend to give the helmets
out for free.
- Rewards for children seen wearing helmets.
The Signature Health Care Foundation
Signature Health Care Foundation was formed in 2002 by Signature Health Services,
Inc., with a vision to “be a recognized leader in the local and national health
care dialogue and spearhead physician leadership in improvements and efficiencies
in the health care delivery system.” The mission of the Foundation is to utilize
physician leadership to improve the quality, efficiency and affordability of health
care in the St. Louis area and nationally.